Congratulations are extended to each and every graduate from high school in the Wayne and Pike county area. This annual springtime ritual should give us hope even as we witness the passage of time.
   Some older adults claim with a smile that the young people graduating seem to look younger every year. This of course is only a nod to the march of years we all face. In this we can also be glad for a new crop of youth passing from the aura of "high school student" to "high school alumna."
   On the surface, graduation speeches seem very familiar year after year, school after school. They typically speak of the memories of school days, the values and lessons learned, and the bright new promise they must accept with courage and determination.
    They also must accept that mantle of adulthood with faith.
     Some with say they need faith in God as they step out into the World, so full of uncertainty and taking with them what they have gained and what older generations have paved for their path.
   A Constitutional challenge last year at Wallenpaupack meant the foreclosure of a very long tradition of having a guest clergy member pray an Invocation and Benediction. The students, however, are of course not in any way hindered from grasping to what spiritual meaning they need for the future before them.
   Faith means a belief and trust in what they cannot see, whether or not God is applied. For every one of our graduating students, they must bravely head to their destiny, and to the destiny of our communities, our nation and world.
   We are thankful for our local school districts, our administrators and teachers who have dedicated themselves to the well-being of their young charges. They have poured out their hearts and put the education and development of the students foremost. Teachers with a long tenure have seen so many young faces come and go. They hold in their hearts a desire to give them what they needed and wish for them to succeed.
    The foundation had been laid, at home and at school. Now our graduates of 2014 have their chance to  lead, to continue to learn and expand their horizons. May they all apply their lessons well and do what they can to make a better world.
    In years ahead may they not forget from whence they came; to remember home, their loved ones here and their schools. Some will make their home not far from the nest. Others will branch out to new vistas, opportunities and challenges. Always think back on the precious gifts given you as you grew up, to those who believed in you. If you come across your teachers or administrators later on, be sure to stop and say "thanks."